Students gather to worship, pray and listen to guest speakers on the lawn of the Brock House on Dec. 5. The event was the second of two that Like Heaven Pepperdine has hosted. Photos courtesy of Hope Dease
Voices singing songs of worship, hearts overflowing with love, people connecting to praise God — this is what the students of Like Heaven Pepperdine said they strive to bring to the Pepperdine community.
The best way senior Hope Dease said she could describe Like Heaven Pepperdine was a family.
“If you are followed by our page or follow our page, you are our family. And even if you don’t, you’re welcome there,” Dease said. “It’s just a space where we number one want to communicate that everyone is welcome at the table of Jesus at Like Heaven Pepperdine.”
What is Like Heaven Pepperdine?
Junior Nick Barron is one of the students that started Like Heaven Pepperdine in 2021. Barron said he had the idea while school was virtual and he noticed a lack of community at Pepperdine.
“It was an event to really bring the conversation of faith back to the forefront and bring Jesus back to the forefront,” Barron said.
Since the event in May, Barron said they have had one other similar event that was hosted at the Brock House on December 5. While Pepperdine hosted this event, Barron said Like Heaven Pepperdine is not officially associated with the University, but hopes to be soon.
While it may seem like a club, Dease said, Like Heaven Pepperdine is really just a cohort of friends who support each other and have the same faith-driven goal.
“We’re just a group of Pepperdine students who have a vision to see heaven be on Earth — just like it says in the Scriptures,” Dease said.
The name Like Heaven Pepperdine comes from the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:10, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
How To Get Connected
Dease serves as the social media manager for Like Heaven Pepperdine and said the main way others can join is by following or messaging their Instagram, @likeheavenpepperdine. From there, Dease said she adds students to different groupchats to help them stay connected.
“Oftentimes if people just want to have a worship night or just go to the chapel and worship there’ll be that community — so just DM [direct message] the account — that’s what the account’s there for,” Dease said.
Members of Like Heaven Pepperdine said their goal is to create a welcoming and eclectic community of believers.
“Something really special and unique about Like Heaven Pepperdine is that we all come from so many different backgrounds, but all seek the same Jesus,” Dease said.
How It Has Impacted Others
Junior Katai Mutale said she first heard about Like Heaven Pepperdine when Barron asked her to be a part of the prayer team during its first event.
Since then, Mutale said she has seen Like Heaven Pepperdine grow into a community of young people seeking Jesus.
“We are seeking to bring the Holy Spirit into everything and to help people go beyond just talking about faith, since we talk a lot about faith in Pepperdine already,” Mutale said. “But going from talking about faith to actually radically living faith and experiencing God and having other people experience God.”
Providing a support group and practicality, Mutale said Like Heaven Pepperdine has helped her grow her faith.
“It gave me an opportunity to lead others,” Mutale said. “Because as you lead people, you teach and you learn more about yourself and what you are called to do — but it also gave me family, so if I’m going through something, I know I can count on these people.”
While the plans for the future of Like Heaven Pepperdine are uncertain, Barron said Like Heaven Pepperdine is praying about and deciding on their next steps as a community. For now, Barron said their goal is to continue to bring more students together to grow their community.
“We really are hungry for more of Jesus and more of heaven on Pepperdine — that’s where the name comes from — to make Pepperdine look more like heaven,” Barron said.
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